|Nickname(s): Leap Year Capital of the World|
|Motto: Gateway to Texas|
Location of Anthony within Texas
Anthony is an incorporated town in El Paso County, Texas, United States. The population was 5,011 at the 2010 census. It is the first town encountered in Texas when traveling eastbound on Interstate 10 from New Mexico.
The Town of Anthony was incorporated on July 5, 1952. The town uses a Mayor/Aldermen system. Currently there are five Aldermen representing the Townspeople. The mayor and aldermen are elected positions held for alternating two-year terms. Current mayor of Anthony is Lee Vela. The Anthony Town Hall is located at 401 Wildcat across from the Anthony Independent School District Complex. This multi-use facility houses the following town offices:
The Anthony Town Hall additionally houses the Anthony Municipal Court Room. This courtroom hosts the Anthony Town Hall meetings, voting, police meetings, and other events.
The Anthony water treatment plant is located at the southern end of Omar Street and provides drinking water and sewage treatment for the town. The majority of Anthony's drinking water comes from wells located near the Rio Grande.
Anthony has approximately 23 acres (93,000 m2) of developed parks along with approximately 45 acres (180,000 m2) of undeveloped park land.
The Town of Anthony secured a large Texas Parks and Wildlife Department grant (approx: $780,000) in early 2007 to increase the size of Henry Miramontes Park.
Projected improvements include an additional baseball field, parking area, jogging paths, nature walks, a skate park, and much more. A large section of bare desert land on the north side of Antonio Street near the 1400–1600 block is designated to become a soccer field complex with at least 4 fields and home to the Anthony Desert Rats soccer team. The team has yet to be formed and organized. An artist's rendition can be seen posted on the town's web site.
The park land is currently divided into three parks. All parks are closed from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM.
The baseball park is named after Anthony Police Department's only officer killed in the line of duty. It is located on the east side of Richard White Street north of Franklin Street and south of State Line Road. The park consists of two fenced regulation baseball fields with bleachers and a small building used for maintenance and concessions. It is the baseball field used by the Anthony High School Baseball Team during the official baseball season.
This park is named after a resident who was killed during the Vietnam War. It is located on the west side of Richard White Street north of Franklin Street and south of State Line Road.
Most of the park is open and grassy with a few shade trees and benches. The northeast section is fenced in with a dirt road which can be used during open hours to drive in and park. Inside the fenced area is grassy with a few large shade covered slabs of concrete, a large open air basketball court, and a small public restroom building.
Citizens can use the slabs to set up tables and grills for large parties (by permit only when purchased at the Town Hall). The fenced in section of the park is often rented by citizens and organizations to host large events such as car shows, birthday parties, family reunions, and company outings.
In the middle of the park is a small stone monument with a metal plaque dedicated to the memory of Henry Miramontes.
Anthony Park is located on a triangle-shaped island created by Antonio Street, Franklin Street, and 11th Street. It is sometimes called Triangle Park by local residents.
This grass-covered park has several shade trees, covered picnic tables, and various sets of playground equipment. During the winter months the tress are decorated with lights.
At the east end of the park where Antonio Street and Franklin Street intersect there is a flag pole beside a large metal sign which reads "Welcome to Anthony" in red letters facing to the east towards Interstate 10.
Within the municipal boundaries of the town along the Rio Grande on the eastern side is a paved pathway with occasional benches and bridges for public use by bicyclists, joggers, walkers, fishers, bird watchers, runners, and other outdoor enthusiasts. The path lies between the river and levee. The path can be accessed under the Vinton bridge and ends at theNew Mexico/Texas state line. The path is closed to all forms of motorized travel, including ATVs.
The area within the levees and the levees themselves are administered by the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC). The levee is not part of the public use portion of the path, and persons found on the levee can be charged with trespassing.
Fishing is allowed from the bank with a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department-issued fishing license. The use of firearms is prohibited by Anthony municipal code, so hunting is not permitted.
Every leap year Anthony, Texas, and Anthony, New Mexico, celebrate with an officially sponsored leap year birthday parade and festival.
In 1988 local resident Mary Ann Brown, a member of the Anthony Chamber of Commerce and born on leap year day,February 29, proposed that the Anthony Chamber of Commerce host a festival centered on Leap Day.
In February 1988 based on this celebration and because no other place in the world regularly sponsors such an event, the town’s Chamber of Commerce voted to sponsor Ms. Brown's idea of the festival and subsequently declared Anthony Texas and New Mexico to be the Leap Year Capital of the World.
New Mexico Governor Garrey Carruthers and Texas Governor Bill Clements joined in the special proclamation.
United States Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico entered into the Congressional Record of the United States a request that Congress and the President join in the proclamation. Senator Domenici read it into the Congressional Record Vol. 134, No. 146, Friday, October 14, 1988, of the 100th Congress.
In January 1996 the Anthony, New Mexico, post office was designated "Leap Year Station" and granted a commemorative postal cancellation. In celebration of the event, the town's postmaster will typically appear as "Leap Year William" and distribute candy to parade attendees.
The festival and parade is chaired by the mayor of Anthony, Texas.
Membership for the Leap Year Birthday Club has grown from zero in 1988 to nearly 300 in 1996 and more than 400 members in 2003. Members include individuals from as far away as Europe and have traveled to Anthony to celebrate.
The Anthony Independent School District (AISD) serves Anthony.
AISD consists of three campuses (Anthony Elementary, Anthony Middle, and Anthony High) and a district central office, all connected and surrounded by a single fence line. Each campus is within walking distance of the others and the central office is located between the elementary and middle schools.
Federal Correctional Institution, La Tuna (FCI) is a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility in Anthony.
La Tuna inmates helped build some of the Anthony municipal parks and regularly assist in the day-to-day maintenance of the Anthony town government facility. La Tuna inmates assist Streets/Parks Department workers in a laborer capacity.
The United States Postal Service operates the Anthony Post Office in nearby Anthony, New Mexico.
Anthony, Texas, is the home for one of Texas's 12 Travel and Information Centers, providing the following services for travelers entering Texas from New Mexico:
The El Paso Gun Club shooting range is located in the northeast corner of the municipal limits of Anthony. An unpaved road at the end of North Desert Blvd allows access to the gated entrance. Membership to the club is required for range use.
Anthony Municipal Code has established a curfew for anyone under the age of 17 between the hours of 10:00 PM and 7:00 AM unless accompanied by a parent, guardian, or family member over the age of 17.